Wellness is more than being free of disease or illness. Wellness is an umbrella term used to define a “state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing; not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Wellness is not an overnight change; it is a dynamic progression.
In order to promote wellness, it is best to incorporate small habits in your routine that will directly contribute to your overall health and wellbeing. Your everyday habits harbor a significant impact on your physical, mental, and emotional health.
Making the shift towards leading a healthier lifestyle is no easy feat. It requires persistence, patience, and consistency. Flipping over a new leaf may be tempting, but it is far from realistic. It is best to focus on introducing small elements in your day-to-day life and making them last for the longer term.
We all know about the basics: diet, exercise, the works. Let us make the process easier for you by being slightly more specific. The following is a list of ten routine habits that will contribute to your wellness.
- Wake up early
Waking up early is essential for good health. The human mind and body follow a circadian rhythm that regulates sleep patterns as per the sun’s rising and setting.
The circadian rhythm also regulates cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is a hormone that plays an integral role in the body’s metabolism, immunity, stress response, and energy levels.
Cortisol levels rise with the onset of sleep and peak around 9 am. As the day progresses, these levels decline gradually. Hence, following the body’s natural circadian rhythm as cortisol levels is the ultimate way to boost overall wellbeing, energy levels, and productivity.
- Drink water before anything else
Hydration is critical for optimal health. Water helps regulate your body temperature, lubricates the joints, promotes excretion, and protects the spinal cord. 60% of the human body comprises of water. Insufficient hydration, therefore, can lead to dehydration. Dehydration, in turn, may lead to headaches, fatigue, blackouts, and more.
It is imperative to drink water at all times throughout the day. However, a great tip to boost health is to drink water after you wake up before consuming anything else. Water helps hydrate the body, improve digestion, and boost metabolism. Therefore, refrain from drinking juice, tea, or coffee; sip on a glass of water instead.
- Make time for movement
Most of us lead sedentary lives, which makes movement and exercise all the more imperative. Exercise harbors countless health benefits for the mind, body, and soul. In order to make the shift towards a healthier lifestyle, make time for movement in your daily routine.
Start simple and go for a 20-minute walk. Work on your flexibility. If you enjoy going to the gym, well and good. Pick out a hobby that enables you to move more such as swimming, cycling, dancing, etc. You do not require any fancy gym equipment to get the job done. You can manage a decent cardio workout by merely walking up and down the stairs repeatedly.
- Spend time outdoors
An excellent way to feel infinitely better is to expose yourself to some fresh air every day. Spending time outside is the best way to take in some fresh air as well as some much-needed vitamin D.
A deficiency in vitamin D has been proved to result in bone pain, fatigue, weak immunity, depression, and mood swings. Moreover, taking in the fresh air helps enhance respiratory health. So take some time out from your hectic daily routine and go for a walk outside.
- Go for a walk
Walking may seem like a simple and easy fix, but it truly works wonders on your physical as well as mental health. Walking helps your fitness by enhancing cardiovascular health, preventing weight gain, improving your posture, reducing the risk of chronic illness, and alleviating fatigue, depression, and more.
Moreover, walks enable you to spend time outside and take in sunlight and fresh air. If you cannot go outside, walk inside. What matters is that you keep moving.
- Avoid eating out
A tried and tested way of making a wellness shift is to avoid eating out. Cook your meals yourself. Yes, it may seem like a task, but it is a necessary human skill everyone should know.
Preparing your own meals enables you to control the quality of your food and appreciate it more. Ditch the takeout and pre-made meals. Think of cooking as self-care, and you will find yourself feeling motivated to make your own meals.
- Eat vegetables
There is a reason why you have been told to eat your veggies ever since you were a child. Vegetables are healthy, period. Rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients, vegetables boost gut health.
As per the results of various studies, vegetables also help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and or cardiovascular issues.
Moreover, incorporating more vegetables in your diet leaves little room for processed foods, added sugars, and refined carbs.
- Go to bed early
Sleep is the only way to enable your mind, body, and soul to really unwind, relax, and rejuvenate. Unfortunately, most of us fail to get the recommended 8-hour sleep to fix every night owing to our busy and hectic schedules. This lack of sleep may not seem like much, but it may result in significant damage to your health.
Sleep issues have been proven to result in memory issues, high blood pressure, mood swings, reduced immunity, digestive problems, and increased aging. Moreover, sleep issues lead to weight gain due to hormonal imbalances, including leptin, insulin, cortisol, etc.
Going to bed early will enable you to get up earlier as well. Therefore, if you are a night owl, try this for a change.
- Practice balance exercises
Balancing exercises are super important as they not only enhance agility, mobility, flexibility, and balance, but they also enhance blood circulation and improve your overall posture.
Bad posture can stress your ligaments and result in body pain. Balance exercises, such as yoga, pilates, and tai chi, can help prevent fatigue, muscular pain, and body aches.
Some people tend to shy away from balance exercises because they feel like they are not flexible enough. Moreover, some people do not feel fully comfortable with the poses.
Well, for starters, yoga enhances flexibility. Therefore, you do not need to be flexible from before; that is kind of the point of balance exercises. As for feeling uncomfortable with the poses, we recommend wearing form-fitting yet stretchy clothes that enable movement but also provide good support.
For women, a good sports bra and tights get the job done. For men, anything works. Just be sure to get some quality boxer briefs for good support and comfort.
- Have a healthy breakfast
A healthy and hearty breakfast is the ultimate way to kick start your day. It helps improve heart health and lower your risk of diabetes.
Experts suggest eating a high fiber breakfast with a good protein serving to keep you energized and full. Find creative substitutions for unhealthy food. Try to eliminate high fat and sugar foods from your diet slowly and gradually and opt for whole grains, low-fat dairy, and natural sweeteners instead.
Making the shift towards a lifestyle that promotes wellness does not mean pulling a complete 180 degrees and turning a new leaf. Change is hard; do not overexert yourself.
Focus on making small changes in your routine and working your way up. This is not a race so take your time. The process may be tedious and challenging, but the end result is always worth it. So what are you waiting for? Take the first step. We promise; you will never look back.